Himanta Biswa Sarma was appointed as the next Prime Minister of Assam on Sunday and will replace Sarbananda Sonowal.
Sarma’s name as the leader of the BJP legislature was announced by Union Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar as the party’s intermediary and general secretary of the party, Arun Singh.
Sarma’s name was officially confirmed at the first parliamentary session of the newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislature, held at a provincial meeting, days after Guwahati’s back room was convened and official meetings in Delhi following the announcement of the May 2 election results.
Sarma’s nominee was nominated by Sonowal and sponsored by BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass. It was also supported by the newly elected MLA from Hallong, Nandita Gorlosa.
Tomar after the meeting said that he had asked other State Members if they had any other ideas. No other name suggested. As the name of Sarma, the prime minister of our government was the only one who was nominated, unanimously elected as the leader of the legislature.
On Saturday, two high-profile applicants, Sonowal and Sarma, were summoned to the party’s leadership in Delhi where they held meetings with BJP national president JP Nadda and others. Both leaders returned to Guwahati on Saturday night on the same flight.
Officials at the BJP office knowing about the development said the leadership had taken a decision in favor of Sarma after negotiations. Sonowal, who was part of Narendra Modi’s first government in the Center, is likely to be re-appointed to the Union cabinet in the future.
The status of the declaration of Sarma (52) as the next CM took place in the presence of Tomar and Singh. Another national secretary BL Santosh and Assam’s ruling party, Baijayant Jay Panda, were also present.
Earlier on Sunday morning, Sonowal submitted his resignation letter to Governor Jagdish Mukhi before proceeding with Sarma in the car to take part in the newly elected legislature.
Sarma is expected to take the oath of office on Sunday at the Simanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati with a small cabinet, which will be expanded in the next few days.
Sunday’s development marks the culmination of a major Sarma rise within the BJP, a party he joined in 2015 after parting ways with then-Congress Congressman Tarun Gogoi, in his cabinet who has been minister for three consecutive terms since 2001.
Sarma played a key role in the BJP forming its first government in Assam in 2016 and was assigned to finance, health, education and social (PWD) positions in the Sonowal cabinet.
As the convener of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), a coalition of regional opposition parties to the northeast Congress, Sarma has also overseen the BJP to form governments in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura and to be part of the ruling coalition in Nagaland and Meghalaya a few years ago.
In addition to criticism from others, Sarma found great support in her handling of the Covid-19 problem when visiting patients in hospitals, overseeing the establishment of Covid care centers and ensuring proper care for those infected.
He went on to say that during the election campaign he spoke at rallies in all parts of the state and conducted street demonstrations where thousands turned up.
Sarma also contributed to the nomination process and actively campaigned for another BJP nomination. Party leaders say he is grateful for the support of at least 40 MPs, which has reduced the rest of his life.
Delays in the announcement of the CM name and the formation of the next government despite clear authority at a time when the state sees a rapid increase in new cases and deaths of Covid-19 people have led to BJP criticism by opposition groups and experts.
The Assam conference has a total of 126 seats. While the BJP won 60 seats, its allies Asom Gana Parishad and the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) won 9 and 6 seats respectively, taking the coalition number to 75 seats.